For several years, my husband Marc has pestered me to create a recipe for veggie burgers. His argument was sound – if I can make a vegetable as bland as zucchini taste good, surely I could make veggie burgers taste amazing!
Yet, I dragged my feet. My resistance came from the fact that I don’t really love veggie burgers. I find them stodgy, heavy and (most of the time) completely devoid of flavor. I’ll take a plain grilled cheese sandwich any day over a veggie burger! And it’s almost impossible for me to feel inspired by a food I don’t love. But with July 4th around the corner and with Marc’s unrelenting begging, I finally went to work.
I set a pretty high bar for myself, wanting to use no grains or any other ingredients that would weigh down the veggie patties. And I must admit that, because of this limitation, the first four tries were completely disastrous. But I persisted, and finally managed to create a veggie burger that is light AND massively flavorful… something even I can enjoy!
Here shiitake mushrooms are pan-sautéed to add a wonderfully deep, earthy flavor to the veggie burgers. Then they’re mixed with shallots and herbs for a delicious zing. There’s ground cayenne in the veggie burgers, too, which contributes a hint of spice. As a last touch, fresh corn is added for its wonderful sweetness. These savory, ultra-light patties are then layered with red onions, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, arugula and a super-flavorful Aioli.
So here’s to the veggie burger… the America icon has finally entered my repertoire. I can only hope that this recipe will be added to yours too!
Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.